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Oneview Profile annoyances

 
csouthy
Advisor

Oneview Profile annoyances

Does anyone else have problems and frustrations with how HP Oneview handles profiles.

1) Applying a profile takes 10 minutes.  This is rediculous - is this normal behaviour im experiencing?  Virtual Connect was pretty much instantaneous

2) Profiles locked to specific hardware models - If i copy a server profile that is for a Gen8, i cant apply it to a bay with a Gen9.  What advantage does having a profile for a specific model actually give us?

3) Profiles defaulting to Virtual Addresses - this is more an annoyance.  I would prefer that profiles default to their Physical Addresses on creation (but this might be just me).

20 REPLIES 20
ChrisLynchHPE
Neighborhood Moderator

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

Hello, @csouthy.  I'm sorry you have had such a diffferent experience with HPE OneView (versus what I can presume is Vitual Connect Manager). Let me address each point, and hopefully answer your questions.

  1. You have to understand, there are significant differences between VCM and HPE OneView.  What can seem 'instantaneous' to you, is actually not.  VCM isn't multithreaded, and takes roughly 2 min to apply a Server Profile to a Server Resource.  A VCM Server Profile is also a  'lowest common denominator' approach to how it applies.  VCM doesn't provide any way to control or map specific connections to a given hardware device, let alone the other features found in an HPE OneView Server Profile (BIOS, Local Storage, Firmware, etc.).  With HPE OneView Server Profiles, you have to specify the Server Hardware Type (SHT) and Enclosure Group (EG), if you didn't specify a specific Server Hardware resource.  The SHT and EG provide the ability to properly model a Server Profile with Expected Connections, Network Resources, BIOS Settings and external 3Par Storage.  When you create a Logical Interconnect Group and Enclosure Group, you are actually modeling how Servers can and will map to network and fabric resources.  If a resource isn't provisioned to a LIG, and subsequently the associated EG, the Server Hardware resource isn't expected to be able to access that resource.  So contrast that with VCM; you cannot specify which Connection is assigned to which Physical Interface on the target system.  The SHT provides this policy (amongst a few other policy capabilities, like BIOS and Firmware).  Plus, all of this happens Asyncronously, which isn't possible in VCM (which is a syncronous-based platform, where you cannot perform another Server Profile operation until the prior one is finished).  Which leads me to your second question.
  2. Prior to HPE OneView 2.0, Server Profiles were locked to both the SHT and EG, as I explained the relationship above.  We relaxed the restriction to allow customers to move between EGs and SHTs, and would remove settings or network/fabric resources if it isn't possible to assign in the destination EG and/or SHT.  You have much more flexibility now with the release of 2.0.
  3. VCM required the Administrator to specify how they want to manage Addresses for Ethernet, FC and Serial Numbers.  This was limited to the VCM Domain.  You could specify VCM Managed Addresses from either Pre-defined pools or Admin provided pools.  You could also default to Hardware Addresses.  If you chose VCM Managed, there is an override within the Server Profile.  Each VCM Domain would need to be configured seperately.  If you wanted to aggregate address management, VCEM was the preferred method, and had a number of management drawbacks.  VCM and VCEM are now combined within HPE OneView.  When the appliance first boots, it randomly generates 1 million MAC and WWN addresses each, which uses the Link Local Administrator bit.  There are a lot of customers that use 'Virtual' Addresses, and would rather not manage the physical.  FC storage connectivity is certainly a primary case to use it.  DHCP, PXE and other Ethernet bootstrap mechanisms are another.  There are administrative benefits as well, if say a system board or mezz is replaced.  The NICs and/or FC adapters no longer need to have their policies and configrations modified because the adapter address changed.  This also helps in your sitatuation where you'd like to migrate a Server Profile from a Gen8 to Gen9.  Imagine needing to reconfigure the NIC or FC ports in the OS because the addresses changed.  Or worse, you needed to go modify FC fabric zoning (or your SAN Admin needs to).  I wouldn't classify 'Virtual' Address Management as an annoyance.  It certainly is a benefit to quite a number of Virtual Connect customers.

I hope this helps.  I look forward to your comments to this discussion.

 


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csouthy
Advisor

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

HI Chris,


Thanks for the in depth reply.

 

In relation to #1...i guess the problem is general maintanance on servers have a considerable increase in time.  Say for example the profile in VCM took 2 minutes to apply (which in experience is much quicker), this is much quicker than Oneview.  Please look at this example

I had a Gen9 BL460 in which i had to shutdown from my ESXi environment and remove from the enclosure to perform some maintanance.   After this was completed, i inserted the server back into the enclosure, however i had to once again reapply the server profile.  This process is recorded in my logs as taking over 15 minutes.  So i am twiddling my thumbs for 15 minutes while the profile is assigned.  Say i need to do this to multiple servers, you can appreciate the length of extra time this adds.

Now say i need to evacuated an enclosure populated with hosts into another, we are talking about a 16bay x 15min profile apply which if done one at a time (which may be a case sometimes with VMHost resourcing), we are looking at an extra 4 hours of additional time compared to VCM.

In VCM i would have an identical profile set up on another enclosure, then switch the server location and it would be booting almost instantaneously

However this may be just the method that i go about things.  If you can suggest a way to perform profile work that reduces the need or time to apply profiles that would be welcomed.

 

On #2, can you point me to some documentation that may help me understand this a bit more?

On #3 point taken.  However this is more a change on what VC did by default, so i was perplexed as why Virtual was defaulted over Physical...but thats fine.

ChrisLynchHPE
Neighborhood Moderator

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

There are fundamental differences between VCM and OneView as I have pointed out.  If you are simply comparing the time it takes for a single VCM Server Profile to apply, and compare that with OneView Server Profile, that isn't enough, and yes you will have a completely different opinion.   The Average Server Profile operation in VCM is 2 minutes.  The Average Server Profile operation in OneView is going to be different depending on what you are setting within the Server Profile.  If all you are doing is configuring Connections and nothing else, that operation typically takes 7 minutes.  Boot times with various RAM configurations will skew that.  Let me put it into another way:

If I were to create 16 Server Profiles for a single Enclosure, it will take 2min x 16 (32 total Minutes, which is serial BTW), versus 7-14 minutes of total time for 16 servers as OneView is an Asyncronous Task based system (16 Server Profile tasks will execute in parallel, versus 1 by 1 with VCM).  Again, when only configuring Server Profile Connections and nothing else.  When you start to add in the other options avialable to you in HPE OneView Server Profiles (which are not there in VCM), the process will take longer as the server(s) will boot into Intelligent Provisioning and execute the policy configuration from the Server Profile.

When OneView provisions a Server Profile, it is making sure the configuration is deployed to the target system, instead of the 'set it and forget it' method VCM takes.  When you model and deploy a Server Profile, that is the configuration policy you are deploying.  Not just Connection management that VCM provides.

If you want to stop the Server Profile from re-applying (which is automatic BTW), you can change the Server Hardware Affinity from Device Bay to Server Hardware.  This locks the Server Profile to the target system (based on the servers Serial Number and UUID), and prevents the Server Profile from being assigned to another physical server.  So in your case, the Server Profile would not have been re-applied just because the Server Hardware was removed from the Device Bay it was populated in.

Also, I'm curious to understand what maintenance tasks you are referring to?  I'd love to better understand the frequency and the tasks you are performing, so I could bring that back to the development team as another data point on how our customers use our product(s).

Please review the HPE OneView 2.0 Release Notes (look on Page 5, Section 1.2, bullet point #3: Profile mobility – across generations, models, enclosure groups) for the changes updates to the Server Profile, which not only include the option I mentioned, but also improvements to Local Storage and Online Firmware/Driver remediation for Gen8 and newer systems.  I would highly suggest you bookmark the HPE OneView Enterprise Information LIbrary Vanity URL (http://hpe.com/info/oneview/docs) for future product documentation needs.

There are a lot of things different in VCM when transitioning to HPE OneView.  I would also highly suggest you review the Introduction to HP OneView concepts for HP Virtual Connect customers whitepaper.  We also have a training class that goes into a great amount of detail around the entire HPE OneView product.  I helped develop most of the course that is avialable.

 


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csouthy
Advisor

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

HI Chris,

 

I can can see now the case you are presenting.  However a few other points.

 

The example of the Asynchronus task, whilst it great, shutting down 16 ESXi hosts at a time would not happen in our environment.  We would be doing 1 or 2 at a time in order to keep enough resources in our environment.

For the boot time.  I only have connections added.  I have no other options selected.  I could live easier with the 7min rough apply time, so not sure thy mine is taking the extra 8 minutes if its a barebones profile

 

Thanks for the suggestion on the Affinity type, noted.

As for the maintanance tasks...... we have had a lot of trouble with our latest Gen9 hosts and specifically their 20Gb Flex LOM cards.  This comes down to both firmware and ESXi driver compatibility.  So we are performing higher than usual updates and restarts on these hosts.

We are also at the stage of upgrading our switch infrastructure and also VC modules.  We are migrating our hosts out of the enclosure to perform this work (reduce risk etc)

ChrisLynchHPE
Neighborhood Moderator

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

I totally understand that you aren't going to take 16 servers out at a time for maintenance.  I wasn't suggesting that.  However, with newer capabilities does come change in how things operate.  OneView is MUCH more than just Connection and Identity management, which is all that VCM provides.

Reboots of a server to apply a newer driver and the Emulex/Avago firmware doesn't result in any additional reboots than say VCM, as the Server Profile isn't being modified (unless you are assigning a new Firmware Baseline to the Server Profile).  Also, OneView doesn't re-apply the entire configuration if you were to modify the Server Profile to add another connection, or re-insert the original server into the device bay.  But, when the Server Profile applies, it is deploying a policy, and it must wait for devices to configure into the state they need to be, unlike VCM. 

We continue to look at ways to improve how devices are managed and configured.  As UEFI evolves over time, and HPE adopts the newer versions, it will open more paths to configure devices differently, and improve the overall experience.  I can't discuss more than that in an open forum.  But just know we (HPE) continuously work to improve system boot times.  It's not always HPE OneView causing increased boot times.


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csouthy
Advisor

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

Hi again,

 

Another perfect example.  2 servers with as simple a profile as you can get.  2 network connections, thats it.  Nothing else selected

 

I had to relocate 2 servers this afternoon, but one at a time as they are a redundant pair.  If this was VC, i would shut down the server, relocate it and it would start up within 30 seconds.  This whole task of 2 servers would take 10 mins tops (boot time).

 

Im now stuck here after hours as this process has blown out to over 50 minutes

5 mins for Oneview to "Discover" the blade in the enclosure 

15 mins for Oneview to "Apply the Profile"

5 mins boot time

x2

= 50 minutes.

 

Of all the good things OneView might do, it's definately not worth the extra waiting time.  15 minutes to apply a profile is absurd, i don't care what it's doing behind the scenes.  I will be moving the VC administration back to the modules starting tomorrow.  Oneview is good for monitoring, but administration is a nightmare if we have to put up with these overheads

 

Surely i'm not the only one that has this issue?

ChrisLynchHPE
Neighborhood Moderator

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

15 Minutes is not what any customer should experience with that type of Server Profile configuration.  I have been able to reproduce this behavior in a lab, and am looking into why this is happening.  Just to get some additional data points from you, can you please provide the following:

  • iLO Firmware Version
  • System ROM Version
  • Hardware Platform Model

You can get all of this information by going to the Server resource object, and then selecting the Hardware subpage view.  I've attached a screenshot showing an example.

 


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csouthy
Advisor

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

Hi Chris,

 

It's great that you can reproduce and are looking into it.  Below are a few recent examples, but its really every hardware on any firmware version currently.  From Gen7s Gen8s and Gen9s i have had this issue.

BL460c G7, ilo 1.80,...ROM l27 01/29/2011

BL460c Gen9, ilo 2.30....ROM l37 09/24/2015

 

Let me know what you find

 

 

ChrisLynchHPE
Neighborhood Moderator

Re: Oneview Profile annoyances

Thanks.  I have been able to see this with Gen8 and Gen9, which is all that I have in my lab.  Can you tell me what OA firmware you have deployed?  From some initial investigation, we added some enhancements for when the Server Profile is being provisioned (when the appliance talks to the OA and iLO), and it may be causing some unecessary delays in deploying the profile.

One more thing.  The forums here are not official means for product support.  What I would ask that you do for me is to open a support case, and then Private Message me the case number, so I can help track this to resolution.


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